5/27/09

How we used our wheat



Brunabug asked on Monday how we have been using our wheat food storage. Here are some quick tips and recipes from my year's experience. If you have any other ideas, please share!

---

Make bread

How much bread do you go through at your house? Now imagine how much wheat you would go through if you made all your own bread. Making bread really isn't very hard!

I use this recipe, which can be done from start to finish in less than an hour and a half. If I have extra time, sometimes I add in a second rise (let it rise first in a greased bowl, and then let it rise again in the pans): it adds only half an hour or less and it improves the texture.

Making bread involves more time than work. Once you've mixed things together and kneaded the dough, there's really very little required of you other than setting timers and moving the dough around. And if you have a mixer to knead your dough for you like I do, it really requires no effort at all.

I double the recipe (luckily it just fits in my mixer and there's plenty of room in my oven). Whatever we won't use within a few days, I freeze. To thaw, pull the bag out of the freezer and leave it on the counter unopened for several hours until it comes to room temperature. To make it even more convenient, slice before you freeze.

---

Make other things

I do a lot of baking besides bread; I really enjoy baking. Cakes, cookies, muffins . . . you can sneak in some whole wheat flour just about anywhere.

If your family is picky about whole wheat flour, first try sneaking it into recipes with strong flavors, such as chocolate, peanut butter, or ginger:
Some recipes also just naturally lend themselves to whole wheat:
---

Sneak it in slowly

I'm blessed with a husband and a son who don't mind whole wheat products. But for those whose families may be hesitant, start slowly. If you can't mask the whole wheat with a strong flavor, start by substituting only a small amount in your recipes, maybe only a quarter or even less. Once your family's used to that, try a bit more. Even if you never get up past half, half is still better than none!

---

Try white wheat

If you don't already have 500 pounds of red wheat in your basement, consider buying white wheat. It's easier to sneak into things because of its lighter color and flavor. On the other hand, if you really love that whole-wheat flavor, keep some red wheat around, too.

---

Use it in your meals

Plan to use your wheat flour in your meals. Breakfast is a great place to start, with French toast, waffles, or pancakes. You can also get creative for dinner, using your favorite bread dough recipes to make pigs in blankets or pizza rolls.

---

Don't go overboard

Sometimes I tend to get a bit carried away using my whole wheat flour, but some recipes are definitely better made with white flour, such as angel food cake and lemon-poppyseed scones. Use your good judgment.

2 comments:

  1. I'm very new to all things in the kitchen (and rather accident prone to boot!) but even *I* turned out a perfect loaf of bread on the first try. Bread baking is often held up as a complicated process, but that has not been my experience. What I love most about bread is that it is so easy to make all sorts of wonderful new flavors. My personal favorite is a whole-wheat packed with flax seeds and green olives and topped with shredded asiago that gets nice and crispy in the oven.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good tips. I tend to do half and half on wheat. But there are some recipes that definitely are not made for whole wheat flour, not even a little.

    I have a wonderful recipe for rhubarb muffins, it's in season and we keep getting it free, that uses mostly whole wheat. Also making quick breads like banana or blueberry work really well with whole wheat.

    I think it's great that you made sure not to let the wheat go to waste. even if it's good for years, you can never be sure what may happen to ruin it. I had a friend that stocked up and put her flour in an outdoor freezer. A skunk managed to spray near the freezer, and the flour was ruined!

    ReplyDelete